EU fisheries communities join forces in defense of fishing given Brexit
More than 60 coastal community representatives from the European Union (EU) Member States have called for regional fisheries interests to be an integral part of future Brexit negotiations because of the direct link between the future of the fishing industry and the development of these communities.
This claim has been included in the so-called 'Declaration of Santiago de Compostela' signed yesterday by the President of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, different authorities and representatives of the European fishing sector in this Galician city.
The statement, which Feijóo himself hopes more coastal communities will join in the coming weeks, he said in his speech, was signed at an event organized by the European Fisheries Alliance (EUFA), which is part of the Spanish Fisheries Confederation (CEPESCA) and attended by representatives of the European fishing sector as well as various Galician local and regional autonomous jobs. The day served to discuss the threats that the Brexit represents for fishing interests.
According to the EUFA, the future of both British fishermen and EU fishermen as well as communities dependent on this common resource has an unparalleled interplay in no other sector.
In this way, Javier Garat, CEPESCA general secretary points out that "while 42 per cent of EU fishing fleets' catches depend on access to waters that could become UK waters, the British fisheries sector exports 60 per cent of their total catch to the EU single market. These figures support the importance of the fisheries sector in the Brexit negotiations."
According to EUFA President Gerard Van Balsfoort, "today it has been demonstrated that our industry is, above all, people and a hard Brexit would endanger the livelihoods of thousands of people across Europe."
"The Brexit agreement," adds Van Balsfoort, "must take care of our coastal communities. The long-term economic future means safeguarding existing agreements on reciprocal access to waters and markets and maintaining the current distribution of fishing opportunities."
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